Monday, April 03, 2006

Open source gurbani

That last post has got me thinking: I've noticed that although the seva that has been done to translate Gurbani into English has been great, I feel that in many cases such translations go beyond that and ruin the beauty of Gurbani.

I feel that much of the beauty of gurbani lies in the fact that you can read such a small simple line and then take hours contemplating those words, to understand its meaning. To do that requires that the translation be direct and literal, and do not do too much explaining.

For example in Jaap Sahib:

AjY ] AlY ] ABY ] AbY ] 189]
Ajai || Alai || Abhai || Abai || 189 ||
O Unconquerable Lord! O Indestructible Lord! O Fearless Lord! O Immortal Lord! 189.

...might be better translated as:

Invicible. Indestructable. Fearless. Immortal.

This fits better with the overall pattern and poetic style of the Gurbani, and reads like the Gurbani would have.

Anyways, the point of the post is that I'm wondering if anyone knows if it would be possible to start some kind of open source Gurbani translation project to help to simplify and improve upon the Gurbani translations. This would not only provide better understanding of Gurbani, but could provide a source for SikhiToTheMax or Sikher (previous post) for up to date translations.

Any ideas??

2 comments:

S.K. said...

You hit the nail with this one. How beautifully translated is the second one. I honestly think it's up to us to learn Gurmukhi, Hindi, Sanskirt, Persian and so on to help us better understand the bani of our beloved Guroo...

ajay said...

Sewa Vichar Foundation was created in 2000 to originally record the entire oral recitation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji for the purpose of helping anyone to read and understand the Gurus words and to Gurbani bring people closer to Gurbani. Since 2000, Sewa Vichar Foundation has expanded its efforts and sewa to record more Gurbani to reach each and every household in the world